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GSA CIO: big data the next big thing, Mobile-Phone Towers Survive Latest iOS Jailbreak Frenzy and more

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gsa_logo-300x300Here are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • GSA CIO: big data the next big thing – Casey Coleman, CIO of GSA, announced on her blog that she finds big data to be the “next big thing.” Data.gov now hosts 345K data sets and is visited over 1M times a month. “GSA has added more than 83 high-value data sets to Data.gov and growing.” Via FedScoop, more here.
  • Mobile-Phone Towers Survive Latest iOS Jailbreak Frenzy – “While trying to prevent federal regulators from legalizing jailbreaking, Apple had claimed the United States’ mobile networks could suffer “potentially catastrophic” cyberattacks by iPhone-wielding hackers at home and abroad if iPhone owners were permitted to legally jailbreak their shiny iDevices.” Well, clearly Apple is insane, and not afraid to show it to federal regulators, but the fact of the matter is that you do not license or “rent” and iDevice, you purchase it, and it is ridiculous that Apple even attempted to make it illegal to jailbreak. Via Wired, more here.
  • Report: Social media a growing means of communication for jihadists – Social media allows users to communicate on a wide variety of topics, with anonymity and delusions of expertise. A report from the New America Foundation states “”It is only a matter of time before terrorists begin routinely using Twitter, Instagram, and other services in ongoing operations[.]“” This is not surprising as social media has proven to be the recruiting ground for numerous other movements, why shouldn’t terror follow the trends? Via FierceGovernmentIT, more here.
  • Joint Chiefs to testify on sequestration – A group of DoD decision makers is headed to Capitol Hill today to give their testimony on sequestration. The military (and rightly so) will be the target of some of the largest cuts in the plan. The intent is to find $85B that can be cut to delay sequestration until the next federal fiscal year. Via FedScoop, more here.
  • Barracuda Networks takes further steps to close backdoor access to its network gear – One of the most recently ridiculous stories is the inclusion of back doors in numerous Barracuda Networks appliances. These were coded into the machines without any way to shut them off. Barracuda already released some firmware patches and has released a further update which is supposed to close these rabbit holes. The back doors were created to provide Barracuda with additional remote support capabilities, but can do far more than just that. Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • NIST releases Green Button developer user guide - “The Green Button initiative, launched in September 2011, gives customers access to energy usage data through a branded green button on participating electric utility websites. Since its inception, more than 30 utility companies have committed to providing customer data via XML downloads.” This user guide describes the composition of the data, how to present data and sample code and examples. Via FedScoop, more here.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.